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Thread: Infiniti doesn't get enough credit for its engines...

  1. #1

    Infiniti doesn't get enough credit for its engines...

    ...especially if you care one bit about reliability.

    I search automotive forums obsessively (to the point of losing sleep between work and classes) and as many of you know I am a bit of a Consumer Reports-file. I definitely keep up on their reliability results. A couple of things that are consistently consistent for Infiniti: you never, ever see the dreaded CR black dot under any of the engine trifecta (Engine Major, Engine Minor, Engine Cooling), and you never read of people needing their Infiniti engine replaced or undergoing major service under 100,000 miles. I'm sure that it happens, but I haven't caught it yet- it must be insanely rare. I can't recall any point in the past 10 years where an Infiniti engine was considered unreliable, or not getting red dots in CR, or being on the receiving end of angry forum user anecdotes.

    BMW engines have always been brutal after about 5 years. Vanos has been a problem for years (spawning many third-party businesses built around solutions such as Dr. Vanos!), and if you have an M engine, get ready for major valvetrain rebuilds every 60,000 or so miles. Oh, joy! And if the motor itself isn't a problem, some ancillary component like the fuel pump, transmission, or cooling system is bound to go, threatening performance or, at worst, the life of the engine itself.

    I have been talking up/excited for Mercedes lately, but purchasing a pre-2007 model takes a leap of faith- lots of Daimler-Chrysler cost-cutting. Certain small components were under-engineered and have a knack for blowing the entire engine around warranty expiration time (~60,000 miles). If you catch it in time, it's still a $6-8k repair. Wonderful! My lurking in MB forums shows that both their V6s and V8s were prone to this and even subject to class action suits. They obviously cleaned this up and have not since sank to such lows, but my point is that Infiniti, to my knowledge, has been bulletproof for 24 years now. Not a single garbage engine, not one in which the bean counters specified a shaft, rod, gear or solenoid of inferior material with no regard for durability.

    Audi is a mess and I won't get into it deeply. I have read of carbon buildup in the new DI motors, turbo failures, rebuilds at low mileage, black dots in CR from 5 years old and out, etc.

    Lexus? Well, even though they remain the most reliable luxury brand in pretty much every survey and personal opinion- narrowly beating Acura and Infiniti- their engines may not be as bullet proof as you'd think. Remember the Camry V6 sludge in the late 90s? Guess who shared that engine? They used to package the Supra's NA Inline 6 in the GS300 and IS300 a decade or more ago and to my knowledge that was a fairly unkillable motor. Their V8s are superb. But the recent GR-series V6 replacement has been hit-or-miss. CR has some black and white dots back in the 06-07 model years when this engine was new. This is unheard of for the VQ in an Infiniti application.

    All the rest- well, Jaguar is worse than BMW (Ha! They've attained the impossible!), Porsche is hit-miss, and Cadillac, like GM as a whole, is doing well of late. However, those Northstar V8s of not-to-long-ago were brutal. No durability at all. I've had friends with Lincolns and Volvos who just had to get rid of them out of warranty because the engines and trannies were major liabilities. Sad.

    I haven't mentioned the VK series, but to my knowledge it is pretty much rock solid as well. I haven't had the pleasure of owning one, and owners are rare (though some are here!). We've had some members take old Qs and Ms up to 100,000 and even 200,000 miles, and I don't recall them complaining of the engine blowing at any point.

    Sure, Infiniti engines usually aren't at the bleeding edge of smoothness or fuel economy. But they seem to do everything well while being indestructible. They are responsive, sound pretty good, and always seem to put a grin on my face- knowing that they are the heart of reliable performance. Seeing Infiniti struggle with sales and its image is really disheartening, because outside of Acura, I don't think that a single premium manufacturer has a history of dropping such a dependable engine in its vehicles.
    Last edited by JayG35; 10-26-2013 at 01:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Administrator palmerwmd's Avatar
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    Excellent points all around!!

    Sometimes we simply take the Nissan/Infiniti excellence for granted.
    every time I look around and am mesmerized by a beautiful BMW or Mercedes , I check out the stats and I always realize the grass is not greener on the other side.

    Actually its a desert compared to our cars :D

    Your write up is sticky worthy.
    "In the end we all just play the roles given us... Sometimes they dont fit so well,... but I guess we make do."

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    2x91,92,94 Q45s, 2x 350Z, 1x 240SX w/ SR20DET, 1x Sentra SER SPEC-V, 2k2 Maxima, 2x03 G35, 09 Maxima, 2k2 Maxima, 2015 XTerra, 2005 Xterra, 2012 Pathfinder,

  3. #3
    Thanks Fred! You're such a nice guy to be so generous with the compliments toward me. I'm just a loser geek who got into cars at an early age.

    I keep thinking that after grad school/PT school/med school or whatever (lol) I may switch to MB for one car (while always keeping at least one Nissan or Infiniti), but I don't know. As long as they exist- which is a bit iffy given their recent market performance- I feel that I really should reward Infiniti for designing such durable premium cars. I mean as long as I have enough money for even a used one, they are more than worth the business. Acura's really good like this too, but Infinitis are more fun- even with electric steering.

  4. #4
    I say its the VQ more than anything being that its in 90% of Infinitis LOL. It is pretty bulletproof. I STILL get a little smirk on my face when someone is riding with me and I get on it, or getting up to a red light on a street with no intersections ahead and opening her up. I can't wait to get the engine mount I need replaced fixed and some new spark plugs. Otherwise I haven't had to touch the engine @ 110k miles and counting besides oil changes.
    My Opin.

    Former: 2007 Nissan Altima 3.5SE Sedan 6MT [Totaled :( ]
    Current: 2013 Infiniti G37S 6MT Sedan

  5. #5
    It is mostly the VQ. Still impressive, though, when you see Audi and Mercedes falling flat on their faces trying to make ultra-reliable 3.0-3.5L V6s in the early 00s (MB seems to have found the sweet spot in their most recent couple of series V6 motors), and when even Lexus can't quite make a V6 as bomb-proof as the VQ. They come close though.

    The VK seems pretty good too though. Really good. We have had guys with 200,000 mile Qs and Ms on here before. CR at one point rated the M45 as the most reliable luxury sedan (they have since consolidated M ratings so that the V6 and V8 are mixed). There is not a better deal out there- if you're willing to pay the price in terms of mid/high-teens fuel economy- as an old M45 or Q45. They have depreciated to near nothing for no good reason other than (I presume) a lack of demand for old V8 sedans that aren't German.

    Niss I have an engine mount that's a bit rattly under certain conditions in my QR-powered Altima. It rarely does it, though, and being that I'm still in school I ignore it. I did the spark plugs about 20,000 miles ago, and that has been it for me too aside from oil changes. I could start a similar thread about the QR, but it was tainted by the 2002 and 2003 failures. That engine in its current/more recent state of design is bulletproof as well, I'd say. Though it doesn't *ahem* sound quite as good as the VQ and VK.
    Last edited by JayG35; 10-27-2013 at 12:59 PM.

  6. #6
    Just to add a little to Jay's points. The VK is a tank. I'm close to 120,000 miles on both of mine. Besides changing spark plugs, keeping the air filter clean (K&N), and the throttle body....I don't really do much else. The VK is extremely thirsty. Oil doesn't leak mind you, it gets consumed within the engine. I imagine replacing various seals would help cure the consumption (piston ring, etc). I don't think that's cheap to do.....and I haven't learned how to do it yet. So instead, I keep oil on hand and check it constantly. But yeah, so far, a tank.
    2002 Q45
    2004 FX45

  7. #7
    Senior Administrator palmerwmd's Avatar
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    Stu :

    back in the early 2000's the horsepower war was getting in full swing.
    as a result pistons rings in general loosened up among many manufacturers.
    the VK design was one of them.

    its simply a bit looser and the median of consumption has moved a bit to the right.
    For this reason the %age of engines that would consumer noticably jumped.

    So the VK can use oil w/o needing repair or being "worn"

    "In the end we all just play the roles given us... Sometimes they dont fit so well,... but I guess we make do."

    Dont forget MultiMedia forums!!
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    2x91,92,94 Q45s, 2x 350Z, 1x 240SX w/ SR20DET, 1x Sentra SER SPEC-V, 2k2 Maxima, 2x03 G35, 09 Maxima, 2k2 Maxima, 2015 XTerra, 2005 Xterra, 2012 Pathfinder,

  8. #8
    Interesting. I did not know that. I love freshalloy. Don't want to hijack this thread, but, am I correct in thinking that looser rings would allow a greater volume of oil to seep in the combustion chamber? Would this also affect the compression? Would this be the reason for increased oil consumption and reduced horsepower as the car ages? Exactly how many questions can I ask in one reply....
    2002 Q45
    2004 FX45

  9. #9
    Senior Member stm37s's Avatar
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    now that you mention it, I haven't heard anything bad of the Infinity engines. They hold up pretty darn good as well, not to many automakers can make that claim. There are only a few American company engines i.e. Chevy LT1, Dodge Hemi and of course Ford 351 if I'm correct. Infinity/Nissan engines are world renown. A classic never dies, whether it's American or Japanese. Sorry for being long winded fellas, this is a very good topic that can go on for days LOL!!!
    2011 M37S Moonlight White
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  10. #10
    Senior Administrator palmerwmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu9856 View Post
    Interesting. I did not know that. I love freshalloy. Don't want to hijack this thread, but, am I correct in thinking that looser rings would allow a greater volume of oil to seep in the combustion chamber? Would this also affect the compression? Would this be the reason for increased oil consumption and reduced horsepower as the car ages? Exactly how many questions can I ask in one reply....
    Sorry just seeing this now...
    Your basic premise is correct BUT
    all those negative effects you mentioned really are not an issue seen with these cars in the real world.
    The oil is simply not enough to be an issue.

    All it is some of the use a bit extra oil.
    But so do a lot of other post-2000 engines.
    if you feel your engine uses too much oil, switch to a thicker grade most people run too thin an oil these days anywa,y for reasons that would take me too much time to type right now
    "In the end we all just play the roles given us... Sometimes they dont fit so well,... but I guess we make do."

    Dont forget MultiMedia forums!!
    http://www.freshalloy.com/forumdisplay.php/55-Multi-Media-Forum

    2x91,92,94 Q45s, 2x 350Z, 1x 240SX w/ SR20DET, 1x Sentra SER SPEC-V, 2k2 Maxima, 2x03 G35, 09 Maxima, 2k2 Maxima, 2015 XTerra, 2005 Xterra, 2012 Pathfinder,

  11. #11
    Senior Administrator palmerwmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stm37s View Post
    now that you mention it, I haven't heard anything bad of the Infinity engines. They hold up pretty darn good as well, not to many automakers can make that claim. There are only a few American company engines i.e. Chevy LT1, Dodge Hemi and of course Ford 351 if I'm correct. Infinity/Nissan engines are world renown. A classic never dies, whether it's American or Japanese. Sorry for being long winded fellas, this is a very good topic that can go on for days LOL!!!

    thats ok :D

    Yes you are right as long as you change the oil occasionally, its hard to break these motors even if you drive aggressive a lot.
    "In the end we all just play the roles given us... Sometimes they dont fit so well,... but I guess we make do."

    Dont forget MultiMedia forums!!
    http://www.freshalloy.com/forumdisplay.php/55-Multi-Media-Forum

    2x91,92,94 Q45s, 2x 350Z, 1x 240SX w/ SR20DET, 1x Sentra SER SPEC-V, 2k2 Maxima, 2x03 G35, 09 Maxima, 2k2 Maxima, 2015 XTerra, 2005 Xterra, 2012 Pathfinder,

  12. #12
    Administrator mcrewsQ's Avatar
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    Put 270,000 on my 2002 Q45. sucker still pulled hard the day I sold it. always had to add oil between. never got any worse that at 40k.
    Mark

    2002 Q45 Sport:
    255k, IMPUL body kit, Parrot MKi9100, 05 headlamps blacked out w/ AAC Halos,Catz Zeta ballast boost on HIR high beams, Infiniti rear spoiler, rear upper window spoiler, 245/50/ZR18 tires, modded BMW 5 series hid fog projectors, burtman piano finish dash kit, X-pipe, removed rear muffler.Kenwood 150w powered sub.
    1999 XJ8 Jag VP 120k miles sold
    2007 Kia Sportage V6 LX

  13. #13
    Infiniti engines are generally knocked for the fuel economy, which became important several years back. The power of the G37 that I test drove made up for any lack of refinement (I drove Audis and BMWs right after it, and they were refinely-boring). However, Nissan/Infiniti V6 engines require a lot of wallet-outlay at the gas pump.

    I figure about half of the engines on the Wards list or whatever are overhyped, compared to the tested Honda I4s and Nissan V6s.
    "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses." They're not gonna catch us. We're on a Mission from God. Hit it.

    From the book of 1 Avalonians: Thou shalt not park a Nissan Maxima in thine driveway and thou shalt not have any gods before Toyotathon.

  14. #14
    Administrator mcrewsQ's Avatar
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    jay,
    I know "the engine" is the main focus of this thread but I would love to have had 1 more gear in the tranny to increae mpg!!
    Mark

    2002 Q45 Sport:
    255k, IMPUL body kit, Parrot MKi9100, 05 headlamps blacked out w/ AAC Halos,Catz Zeta ballast boost on HIR high beams, Infiniti rear spoiler, rear upper window spoiler, 245/50/ZR18 tires, modded BMW 5 series hid fog projectors, burtman piano finish dash kit, X-pipe, removed rear muffler.Kenwood 150w powered sub.
    1999 XJ8 Jag VP 120k miles sold
    2007 Kia Sportage V6 LX

  15. #15
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    Just joined the forum and have enjoyed what I have seen thus far. I just gave my '06 Maxima with the 3.5 SE to my Daughter to drive with just under 200,000 miles (300 K) on it because I can't get anything for it in a trade. It's run flawlessly from when I bought it new, and everything works on it, and I mean everything. Just picked up a 2011 M37X with not quite 40,000 miles (60 K) mainly because I know the motor and drivetrain will give me another 200,000 before I retire it and move to the next one. They are a little thirsty when driven hard, but I look at what I have saved in the repair side of the equation, and will keep buying them if the continue to make them this well!

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